1997 Ford Ranger Seat Belt Buckle Replacement

1997 Ford Ranger seat belt buckle with broken button
1997 Ford Ranger seat belt buckle with broken button

The belt buckle (the part connected on the seat that the seat belt latches into) on my 1997 Ford Ranger failed. The button would stick in a pushed state and the belt would not latch or it would latch and then pop out while driving. Sometimes I could hit the button housing and the button would pop out, but it was getting more and more difficult to do. Normally I would search online and order the parts but not wanting to wait any longer to replace the buckle I purchased a new part from a local Ford dealer for $130. I could have probably found it cheaper online but when it comes to safety equipment I prefer to have OEM.

The new buckle came with instructions and will fit 1995 through 1997 Ford Explorer and 1996 through 1997 Lincoln Mountaineer. It also came with instructions but I could not access the screw holding the buckle on the seat which left two options, removing the seat or the center console. I chose to remove the center console.

First the cup holders were removed to access two screws underneath. The cup holds are held on by two clips in the front and sort of hinge of two plastic tabs in the back. I pulled up on the front of the cup holders then pulled the cup holders out.

Cup holders pop out to get to the screws underneath
Cup holders pop out to get to the screws underneath

Once the cup holders are removed two long screws can be removed and this will free the front part of the console.

Remove these two screws
Remove these two screws

In the rear of the console there are plastic covers on each side that need to be removed.

Screw cover
Screw cover

Under the covers there are 4 screws (2 on each side) that will allow the arm rest to be removed.

Screws need to be removed
Screws need to be removed

Once the arm rest is removed there is one final screw to be removed. One the center console is removed access to the seatbelt screw is straight forward.

1997 Ford Ranger center console removed by gregjsmith, on Flickr
1997 Ford Ranger center console removed by gregjsmith, on Flickr

The belt buckle can be removed with a standard T50 torx bit.


OMG! I Actually Worked On The Master Bathroom

Last fall, I threatened that I would have the master bathroom completed by the end of the winter. Here it is spring and I did almost nothing to the bathroom. I have a variety of excuses that I wont go into now, however I did finally make some actual progress on it this weekend.

Before I can do anything I need to install the pocket door. Before I install the pocket door I need to relocate the wiring that exists on the wall where the door goes.

Original wiring location

The wiring consists of power in, a wire to the lights controlled by a switch and a power out to a outlet. The good news is the wiring was easy to move to the next wall, it was loose in the attic and there was plenty of room to move it. I thought I would leave the outlet unpowered for now, until I figured out how I was going to rewire everything, apparently the wire to the outlet is also hooked up to the living room.

Temporary wiring location

Now I have a problem that I need to wire that outlet back up, so i have Romex running along the other side of the bathroom along up to the switch. It looks pretty messy and dangerous in the pictures, I know. Trust me it’s safe and temporary.

I need to decide how to wire up a exhaust fan, will it go near the light switch or near the toilet? I also need to figure out if I’m going to use a fancy digital shower control. If so It will use the power from the outlet then I can wire it up properly.

Finally I can install the pocket door. I have the studs marked to cut down, but I’m waiting for some friends to come by and verify my measurements before I screw it all up. I will save the pocket door install for another post.

Major Fuck-Up By Local Gasoline Distributor

A friend IM’ed me and asked if I heard about the bad gas. I said not really but I smelled and and had it all day long. That’s not what they were talking about.

Inoue said the general managers at both Peerless Tyre and Costco told him that a Giant Industries tanker from a pipeline terminal in Moriarty on Tuesday delivered diesel to unleaded gasoline pumps at 10 stations in Albuquerque, Santa Fe and possibly points in between.

The screw up was actually by Western Refining Inc. The companies that gave out the bad gas are paying for repairs. I’m sure glad I didn’t buy gas today.

Albuquerque Wants Free WiFi Citywide

The Mayor of Albuquerque wants free WiFi for everyone in the city.

a two-tiered wireless Internet signal covering the entire city that will support not just the basics of Web surfing, e-mail and the like, but phone service and video. Those two tiers are a free, 1 megabit signal for anyone and a premium service at 3 Mb for a “reasonable” cost.

Of course Comcast and Qwest don’t like it. I say screw ’em. Qwest especially doesn’t seem interested in offering extra services and Comcast would probably force everyone to pay $10/month for cable before you can use it. It’s the technical issues and money that will keep this from happening.

One wireless provider estimates it would cost $25 million and would require a access point on every building in the city, I think that’s overblown. They cite the problems that Rio Rancho has had completing it’s network. I thought Rio Rancho had completed it’s network.

I hope they try it anyways. I could use some free wifi when I have to drive into Albuquerque